If you’re a parent, you know the constant struggle of coming up with the perfect gift idea for the aunts, grandparents, friends, and the rest of your family to get your toddler for any gift-giving holiday. It’s hard enough deciding what you want to get them yourself and it’s even harder having to dish up some options for other people. Having that conversation is a tough one – do we ask for something they need? Something they want? You start googling and scouring your social feeds just to land on something that will benefit babe while also in some ways helping mom and dad at the same time.
Well – this isn’t that kind of list. I’m here to tell you the top 10 things you DON’T want to ask for. The top 10 things that will not only drive you crazy but will probably give no benefit at all to yourself or your toddler – so buckle up and enjoy the ride; you’ll thank me later.
10 Things NOT to Buy My Toddler
This is a given that you should not buy my toddler – unless you’re coming along with them to instruct them on how to use them properly and give them the potential to join the Philharmonic, they can stay out of my house. I’m all for creative expression and bringing up babies and toddlers around music, but our ears are still recovering from months (or years) of the screams and cries of a baby so give us a break here.
2. Arts & Crafts Gifts (especially ones that include glitter)
One question – what did I ever do to make you hate me and my house so much? If you’re not pairing this one with a Roomba that circles the play table while we’re playing with said arts and crafts kit, then return it to the store, please.
3. Magic Growing Water Toys
Those of you who may not be familiar with these, they can be anything from a pet snake to a dinosaur egg. Basically, you submerge them in water for 24-72 hours and wait patiently as they double, triple their size, or they may even turn into something else altogether. I know what you’re thinking – but that sounds like so much fun! Think again. The smell that these little things exude is like nothing you’ve smelt before. Think dumpster fire mixed with swamp water – which is what the water it sits in turns into after the allotted time. Then when it’s finished its transformation? The toy comes out slimy, stinky, and unusable. Sounds like fun, right?
4. FurReal Pets (of any kind)
Of course, a real pet of any kind is even worse, but I think most people stay away from giving that kind of a commitment for a gift. FurReal Pets, though? Just as bad. They give children false hope thinking that if they take care of this stuffed chihuahua that survives off of double-A batteries, their parents will eventually reward them with a real one. I don’t know about you, but this isn’t a conversation I want to have, so it’ll be best to hold off until you think you’re prepared to welcome a real-life FurReal pet.
Do you enjoy lathering your kids’ hair in coconut oil and hoping you don’t have to cut a chunk out? How about rubbing vinegar into your brand new rug over and over again until your fingers bruise? If your answer is yes, then ask for all the slime. If your answer is a hard no, then this is an item not to buy your toddler, and maybe the idea should be left at the door.
6. Ball Pit
Two words: balls everywhere. A gift definitely not to buy my toddler. If this doesn’t sound like a good time to you, you’re not alone. They are also quite the furniture piece and require a big enough space to put them in, which leaves most homes looking like a McDonald’s play place. They’re a tough clean up, and I can promise you now those balls will not be contained inside the pit for very long. not to buy toddler
Not only is this the least fun for any toddler to open up on Christmas morning, choosing clothes without consulting a parent on their children’s personal style or size is never a good idea. Yes, every children’s parent has their own style for their kids – it’s the truth. You’ll want to leave this off the list unless your input is strongly considered.
8. Magic Sand
The phrase “easy clean up” that most of these packages boast couldn’t be farther from the truth. This stuff gets everywhere: between the cracks in your hardwood, under the couch, on the bottoms of everyone’s feet. When it comes to magic sand, you’re usually safe if you keep it to outdoor play alone, but even then, it still usually finds its way back into your living room at some point or another.
9. Alphabet Foam Mats
At first glance, you may think this is an excellent gift. Finally, somewhere soft for my toddler to play and stop himself from slamming into my hardwood floors – you are wrong. As soon as they figure out how fun it is to tear them apart, it’s game over. Goodbye to the days of it being a protective layer between the floor and your child, hello to the days where they use the pieces as swords and weaponry.
Would you hire a 2-year-old to redesign your house completely? If the answer is no, don’t buy said 2-year-old a sticker kit. No matter how much you enforce it, you’ll find stickers all over your house: on walls, on tables, and sometimes they’ll land on the family pet. Stickers aren’t fun for anyone, except for the toddler running around with the pack in hand branding everything in sight.
Supporting imaginative play and fun interactive learning is extremely important, but there are many things to spark creativity in a toddler that is much more parent-friendly. Think of things like puzzles, Legos (one of my personal favorites), or even simpler like a coloring book can work wonders for young minds. I hope you feel a bit better after reading this and know that you’re not alone if you want to be picky when it comes to what other people want to get your child. Now on Christmas morning, birthday evening’s or just another day with Grandma and Grandpa – you can enjoy the gifts just as much as your toddler does. You’re welcome.